ACL preview: Gamba Osaka v Adelaide United
Top spot beckons for the Reds in Osaka, with their hosts' fate in the ACL already decided. Can Adelaide's splendid continental campaign continue?
By Adrian Houghton
Already through to the knockout stage, Adelaide United coach John Kosmina has reiterated his desire to seal a home final when they travel to Japan to face Gamba Osaka on Wednesday.
United are top of Group E and head into the final matchday against their J-League hosts hoping to confirm that ranking.
Ahead of the Pohang Steelers by a point, the Reds are desperate to secure a home final in the Round of 16 without having to rely on Pohang's result with Bunyodkor.
United defender Daniel Mullen scored twice in quick succession to hand the Reds a valuable 2-0 victory against Gamba on March 20 on matchday two.
It has been another remarkable AFC Champions League run from the A-League outfit, with their poor domestic form failing to affect their stirring performances in continental competition.
Gamba, the team who incidentally defeated Adelaide in the final of 2008, has endured a pitiful group stage.
Rooted to the bottom of the Group E, the J-League giants will be hoping to end their campaign on a high note.
Adelaide secured a spot in the knockout stages on matchday five with a 0-0 draw at home to Bunyodkor, while Gamba lost 2-0 to Pohang to all but confirm they will not be competing in the knockout phase.
Gamba have not won in four matches in all competitions, and have just one point from their past three league encounters.
Kosmina has a selection headache up front, with Bruce Djite and Sergio van Dijk both vying for a starting place.
Djite has started all five group matches and his heroics during the AFC campaign have been key for the Reds, but he will have to earn his position in this one.
Adelaide's manager is likely to give Ian Fyfe a first start of the competition in defensive midfield, drafting him in for the injured Osama Malik.
Gamba look set to rest Japanese internationals Yasuyuki Konno and Yasuhito Endo in order to keep them fresh for domestic duties.
It leaves the door ajar for forgotten Brazilians Paulinho and Rafinha to prove their first-team credentials.
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Top 3 Predictions
Gamba Osaka 0-8 Adelaide United
- 18.18 %
Gamba Osaka 1-3 Adelaide United
- 12.12 %
Gamba Osaka 2-1 Adelaide United
- 9.09 %
|Asia - AFC Champions League (ACL)||16/05/2012||Gamba Osaka 0 - Adelaide United 2|
|Asia - AFC Champions League (ACL)||20/03/2012||Adelaide United 2 - Gamba Osaka 0|
|Club World Cup (CWC)||14/12/2008||Adelaide United 0 - Gamba Osaka 1|
|12/04/2014||Cerezo Osaka 2 - Gamba Osaka 2||JPN1|
|06/04/2014||Gamba Osaka 0 - Kashima Antlers 2||JPN1|
|29/03/2014||Sagan Tosu 2 - Gamba Osaka 0||JPN1|
|23/03/2014||Gamba Osaka 1 - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1||JPN1|
|15/03/2014||Vegalta Sendai 0 - Gamba Osaka 0||JPN1|
|6||José de Abreu Oliveira||Defender|
|11||Bruce Jose Djite||Striker|
|10||Sergio van Dijk||Striker|